Erin McKee has been professionally painting for the past 30 years, but she's really been an artist all of her life. Erin was first helped by her mother giving her lots of blank sheets of paper to draw on instead of coloring books as a young child. This was excellent preparation for later art classes, because when faced with a blank piece of paper, Erin already had her imagination primed and ready to go. Erin's formal background is in advertising art, which she learned as a student at Southern Utah State in Cedar City, Utah. But Erin was just too darn nice to work in the advertising world, so she decided to strike out on her own as an artist.
One of Erin's abiding influences in her life was her experiences with animals growing up; especially dogs, as she and her family bred and trained German Shepherds, and also had a rabbitry with over 200 rabbits to care for. In addition, Erin had a horse she loved to ride in the foothills of the mountains of Southern Utah as a teenager, various other livestock, and lots of cats! Erin has many stories to tell about all of them, and perhaps as this site grows we'll be able to relate some of them to readers here. Erin's eye for how animals really look and move was well informed by her years of looking at these and many other animals.
Erin got her career started in the world of science fiction and fantasy, thanks first to her own interest in the literature and the fact that fans of SF and fantasy often gather together to meet at conventions around the U.S. Erin's drawings of griffins and other such mythological creatures which looked like real animals instead of cartoon creations found a receptive audience at SF convention art shows, and Erin went on to win many awards for her work. In the past 16 years, Erin has also found a niche as an artist in the world of the renaissance, and has exhibited her work in her shop at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and at and other renaissance faires around the U.S.
As far as the kind of art Erin does, she doesn't particularly care for depicting cute unicorns or poker-playing dogs. Erins style of painting instead gently blends a realistic style with elements of fantasy. Erin works primarily in acrylics, pastels, and lately digital media, and also had done works on scratchboard and with pen & ink. In addition to her body of fantasy and SF art, Erin has also painted wildlife art, and has done commissioned work for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Erin's animals have their own souls, and aren't simply a reflection of our own human nature.
This brief biography can only begin to tell you about Erin, but her art certainly also says a lot about her. Of course, if you'd like to meet her in person yourself, Erin can be found at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in August and September outside Minneapolis, MN, as well as at the Renaissance Faire of the Midwest in Council Bluffs, IA the second weekend in June. Erin also makes regular appearances at several science fiction conventions in the Midwest and has done shows in Florida and Canada over the past few years. And if you ever happen to be in the vicinity of Erin's home in New Richmond, Wisconsin, you're welcome to come visit.